A Quick Guide on How to Get Interviewed on Podcasts for Authors
Recently, I was on a book marketing webinar where the host recommended that authors do interviews on podcasts as a way to reach new readers. I’m not going to lie, as a podcast host, I audibly groaned at this suggestion. Partly because it was pitched as an “easy” thing to do. I’m literally rolling my eyes as I type this. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m writing this at the back of responding to another generic “I want to be on your podcast” message. To be honest, I’m always flattered by interview requests.
But back to the webinar.
Yes, I agree that getting podcast interviews as an author could be a great form of marketing. And now for the fine print. If you follow these simple guidelines, it will help grumpy podcast hosts like me, immediately see your value in among the sea of generic “interview me” submissions, and say yes. The truth about getting podcast interviews as an author is all in the preparation work you do before contacting the host. To be frank, these are the steps I wished writers and authors took before requesting an interview on the Authorpreneur Podcast.
What’s wrong with the vague “interview me on your podcast” request?
The host has to find an angle and create a list of subtopics to cover for the interview.
So, what’s wrong with that?
All of these unknown elements about a potential interview mean hours of research, on top of the four-plus hours of filming or recording, and audio editing. Hosting a podcast is a lot of work. That vague request you just sent off, added more work on top of the host’s plate. And, no, providing all your links is not enough, and “I write reverse harem romance” is not an angle. When you pitch yourself to a podcast host, you want to present yourself as their dream podcast guest.
How do you do that, you ask?
In this quick guide on how to get interviewed on podcasts for authors, I’m going to show you how to present yourself as that dream podcast guest.
Tip #1 – What do you want to achieve?
Before you start searching for podcasts to pitch, you need to get clear on what you want to achieve. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you want to find readers for your books?
- Or, do you want to share your journey to publication or lesson’s learned with others?
- Do you want to make friends with other authors and build industry connections?
You must get clear on the end result because this will affect the podcasts you pitch as an author. If you’re looking to find readers, pitching a podcast that focuses on sharing writing tips or self-publishing tips will not bring sales.
Because the audience is turning to the podcast for advice, not for their next read; as a result, the episode will not receive many downloads. If you’re after sales, you will need to find a podcast that geared towards readers. Whereas, if you want to build connections or share your journey, a podcast on self-publishing might be a good fit.
Tip #2 – It’s all about Research
Now, it’s time to create a list of podcasts that have the right audience for you. After you’ve curated this list using your search engine of choice or the various podcasting apps available. You need to research the podcast, its host, and the audience. And, I don’t mean performing a quick internet search. Sure, start with search engines and reading the podcasts about page, but dig deeper.
It’s time to get to know the host.
You’ll need to figure out their name, geographical location, contact details, and find them on social media. The geographical location is crucial because you might be in different timezones and may need to be flexible to secure an interview. So, if you live in Boston and are pitching a podcast host who lives in London, and you’re only available after 7:00 pm EDT you’re asking the host to interview you at midnight.
To be honest, it wouldn’t hurt to hit them up on social media and let them know you like their podcast. At this stage, don’t ask for anything, all you want to do is no longer be a stranger. This simple comment will come in handy when you pitch the host via email.
But, before you write that email, listen to a few episodes and get to know the podcast. Get a feel for the podcast, figure out its target audience and whether the host conducts interviews. That last one is important because they may not have the technology to film or record in a way that’s professional.
Tip #3 – Explain Your Value
After all of that research, you need to set yourself apart from the other authors vying for the host’s attention. You need to highlight the value you can contribute to the podcast and its audience.
What will be the focus of the interview?
You must niche down. For instance, you might want to share how you outline science fiction romance novels. Or, maybe you want to discuss what inspired you to write your latest mystery novel. Dig a little deeper than that. Consider the points you wish to discuss in the interview.
Why should you do this?
It shows you’ve thought about the interview beyond the end result, especially if you’re wanting to sell something to their audience. Hardly anyone does this, and it will set you apart from all of the other interview requests. Create a list of three things you want to discuss and up to five if the episodes are an hour long.
The final step in tip three is to explain how this interview will benefit the podcast’s audience. Or, in layman’s terms, why the podcast audience will enjoy listening to this episode.
Bonus Tip – Pull it all Together
And, now you’re ready to write your email pitch to the podcast host. Below is a 6 step formula to use as you craft your email pitch.
- Introduce yourself but keep it brief.
- Talk about what you like about the podcast.
- What do you want to talk about?
- Provide a list of discussion points you want to bring up in the interview.
- Explain why the audience will enjoy listening to the episode.
- After this provide a short bio, social media links, links to your books and other places on the web.
In essence, you want to make the interview request appear to be a no-brainer.
A great podcast host will prepare and research on top of this information you provide, but you’ve just made that job a lot easier.
For the sake of clarity, and to give you a few ideas about pitching yourself as a fiction author, I’ve included a screenshot where I’m emailing myself about an interview on my second podcast.
I hope you found this quick guide on how to get interviewed on podcasts helpful and informative. Good luck with navigating the podcast world and I wish you all the best in securing your first or next interview.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing with such enthusiasm.
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